My son Jory and I had a great time collaborating on this book. I wrote the mysteries and he provided the recipes. Together we created some murderous titles for the recipes and decided which types of food would best fit the various mystery stories.
Some of my stories were influenced by being a gangster’s daughter.
Really. My father was a gangster.
He was a bookie, owned a gambling ‘place’ and when he was ready to move on, he and his partner opened a restaurant and bar at the heart of Main Street in Buffalo, New York.
The book is a series of short mysteries all taking place in a restaurant called Manhattan Shadow. The character, Zero the Bookie is fashioned after my father. He also appears in my Senior Sleuths Mystery Series along with Dick and Dora Zimmerman, reminiscent of the Thin Man characters.
Level Best Books, our publisher, suggested putting the recipes before each story.
And so we did, with titles such as: “Chicken Piccata Caper,” “The Sacrificial Lamb,” “The Quiche (Kiss) of Death.” Near the end we added, “A Deadly Delicious Dessert.” Donuts!
Targeted Age Group:: All adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My love of writing, especially mysteries and my sons love of cooking inspired us to work together to write this unique and fun book.
These are some of Jory’s thoughts concerning his love of cooking: “Some of my earliest memories about my grandfather includes making donuts with him. I remember his kindness, patience, and love for the process as well as the end result. It gave me a lifetime passion for cooking. It did, of course, also have the effect of creating a lifetime love affair with donuts (come on, they are nature’s perfect food). I have three kids (2 girls, 9 and 7, and a boy 3): my grandfather would have adored them. What I cook allows my children to get know my grandfather, and for him to live on through every bite of the cuisine he created. I hope these recipes inspire good memories and experiences in others, too.”
As for me, when I considered mysteries stories for the book I thought about places familiar to me.
The story “He’s A Dead Duck,” was a reminder of a duck pond we lived near on Long Island, years ago. I loved the idea of creating a story beginning with a duck recipe.
“The Chicken Piccata Caper” was the easiest. It reminds me of family. I always ask Jory to make his delicious recipe for me when I visit his family.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Years of watching and loving old b&w mysteries, and parts of characters, like Zero the Bookie fashioned after my father and some of his cronies.
A Tasty Sample of…
The Gourmet Gangster Mysteries and Menus
Marcia Rosen and Jory Rosen
Begin reading The Gourmet Gangster and you are guaranteed a page-turner. With clever wit, Marcia and her son Jory Rosen give us the mercurial, oft gritty story of lives revolving around a 5-star, mob-run restaurant in mid-town Manhattan. A menu of gourmet recipes offers a superb bonus to their entertaining narrative.
— R. Scott Decker, author, Recounting the Anthrax Attacks: Terror, the Amerithrax Task Force, and the Evolution of Forensics in the FBI.
Exquisitely prepared food and Organized Crime ventures have long gone hand in hand and Marcia Rosen knows a lot about both of them. Her latest, The Gourmet Gangster, (Recipes by her son Jory Rosen) is another delectable entry to her fabulous menu of excellently written books. Be sure to savor this one like a fine dessert.
~Michael A. Black, winner of the Best Original Novel Scribe Award and author of Blood Trails, Legends of the West, and the Executioner series (Dying Art and Stealth Assassins) as Don Pendleton
The mysteries are malicious. The recipes are delicious.
John Klopfenstein, Criminal Defense Attorney
Hiding in the shadow of attempted legitimacy The Mob Boss ran an organization which included racketeering, prostitution, gambling, extortion, drugs, and, of course, the oldie but goodie, murder. It’s all told in this “deadly” collection of stories linked by four people, Poppa (The Chef), The Mob Boss, Zero the Bookie and a New York City Detective.
Never a dull moment in this entertaining and intriguing collection of underworld stories featuring a mob boss with plenty of axes to grind. Fascinating
tales told by a talented author. As an added bonus: delicious recipes for the gourmet mobster in all of us.
~ Lida Sideris, author of the Southern California Mystery series
Chicken Piccata “Caper”
Cauliflower Rice and Fresh Italian Bread
Chicken Piccata is a classic recipe filled with an amazing lemon butter flavor. Place the Piccata over the fresh cauliflower rice (or standard rice, if you prefer) and let the sauce coat the rice for the ideal bite. Use the bread to soak up any extra sauce. The meal is the perfect complement to the crisp, clean taste of the Sauvignon Blanc.
4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts (The thinner the cutlet the better, as it will cook easier and more evenly. If you have thicker breasts, use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound thin/flatten out.)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour and shake off excess.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter. When butter starts again to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Add seasoning to taste and return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.
Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc.
Marcia Rosen, (aka M.Genda Rosen) frequently speaks about writing mysteries and growing up as “the gangster’s daughter.” She is author of “The Senior Sleuths” mysteries and her publisher Level Best Books will be re-releasing her Dying To Be Beautiful Mystery” Series beginning in 2020. She is also author of “The Woman’s Business Therapist,” and the award-winning “My Memoir Workbook.” She was founder of a successful marketing/public relations agency and is a member of Sisters in Crime, Central Coast Writer’s and Public Safety Writer’s Association. And, as of January, 2020, host of MysteryLoversPodcast.com. www.theseniorsleuths.com.
Jory Rosen, her son, and collaborator of “The Gourmet Gangster” has been in the advertising and marketing business for over 30 years and is the owner of the J. Rosen Group, a full-service international advertising, branding and direct marketing agency. Jory worked as a cooking demonstrator for many years in NYC and now takes the show on the road by doing cooking demonstrations for his kid’s schools and classrooms. www.jrosengroup.com.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy The Gourmet Gangster: Mysteries & Menus by The Family Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy The Gourmet Gangster: Mysteries & Menus by The Family On Amazon
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